Before we get to the meat of this post, I highly recommend starting the video below to set the mood. Yes, there's a good chance you're going to get tired of hearing the words Do you know the way to San Jose? but we never get tired of Franky Goes To Hollywood. And this was tune playing in my head this morning when I woke up... I think I'm trying to tell myself Get thyself to San Jose, angelajean!
Next. Military community members matter. Military issues are progressive issues and having voices that understand the military on the progressive side helps make us stronger. It gives us ways to intelligently suggest how to cut the defense budget while reminding folks that defense also helps with jobs and health care for millions of active duty, reserve and guard while serving, as well as vets and retirees. It helps with issues on sustainability, on smart defense (diplomacy, anyone?), on civil rights, and on a myriad of others as well. Military community members are smart cookies and we want them on our side.
Just because you're not a vet or a military family member doesn't mean you should just ignore this post. If non-union members ignored right to work issues or straight folks ignored posts about LGBT issues or [insert group of interest] ignored [insert issue of activism], we would never get anywhere. DailyKos thrives because we care about each other. Please read, please share with a wider community, and if you think we military community folks matter, please recommend and leave comments.
More below the curlicue.
Netroots Nation is just around the corner. For those of us that like to plan ahead, now is the time to be thinking about reserving rooms at hotels (remember, a room reservation can always be cancelled if we change our minds about going), buying tickets for the event, and figuring out how we're going to get there. Which is why I'm writing.
I was very fortunate to attend last year's Netroots Nation in Providence, Rhode Island. We had just moved to the East Coast and the event was only a day's train ride away. I jumped at the chance. And, while there, I got to meet some really neat people. But I noticed something was missing. Although there were lots of vets around and probably lots of milfam (military family) members around, it was hard to tell. We don't naturally stick out - no identifying features, you know?
This year, we're working to fix that. DaNang65 has acquired a table for the big room - that room where we all sit for the keynotes. Last year we listenend to folks like Van Jones, Darcy Burner, Paul Krugman, and Benjamin Jealous. There will be several tables of Kossacks but one special table for Military Community Members. And we want to see it full every single time there is a speaker in that hall. Not only do we want other Kossacks to know we exist, but we want other progressives to know it as well. Who knows, we might convince a front pager like brooklybadboy or a well-known contributer like teacherken, both veterans, to join us. Maybe we can get the most famous Kossack of all, Markos Moulitas, to join us. He is, after all, a veteran.
Military community members matter. Vets matter. Active duty military matters. Reservists matter. Guard matters. Military spouses matter. Military kids matter. Parents of our military matter. So do aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, and fiances. So do boyfriends and girlfriends. We all belong to the military community and that belonging means that we have a unique responsibility to the rest of the progressive community. It is our job to help military issues make sense, be they DADT repeal, sustainable energy from a defense perspective, health care for military retirees, veterans care for past and present wars, or just how and why a military is still necessary in our current environment.
That said, all of us, civilians and military community combined can do something today to help promote veterans issues at Netroots Nation. I bet most of you have already support Netroots for the Troops in some manner - as the need for sending care packages diminishes, the need for helping returning service members has not. Our government is not keeping up with the needs of victims of PTSD. A small organization out of Tucson, AZ is trying their best to share their successful model, The Mindful Veterans Project, with our community. DaNang65 wrote of it yesterday and drnatrl wrote of it in the beginning of the New Year. They want a booth for the Purple Mountain Institute at Netroots Nation 2013 and YOUR vote can help them get that booth for free. They have limited funds but endless amounts of energy. If YOU share their story, it would mean even more votes and make that booth a little more likely.
That leaves us with two things to do today -
- Vote for Purple Mountain Institute here.
- Please let me know in the comments below if you're a military community member thinking about attending NN'13; if you want to go and can't, let me know why. What's stopping you? And if you're not a military community member, let us know why you think it's important that we show up at the table.
Let's make DailyKos a real place for military community support. You guys have been providing me with support through our constant moves for the last couple of years. I know other MCM members have stories about why DailyKos is important to them. Let's see how many of those stories we can hear and share at Netroots Nation.